Manti Te’o seems to have officially moved past the stain that was the Lennay Kekua scandal that rocked the sports world back in late January. At the time, Te’o wasn’t someone anyone wanted to touch and many speculated that his once high draft stock was fatally harmed by the hoax. But now that we’ve had a few months live and let live, and Te’o has had a chance to talk to teams individually and work out for them, it’s looking like his first round status is back intact.
Teams that actually meet with Te’o have nothing but good things to say about him, and the latest team to add their name to that list is the Detroit Lions. Picking fifth overall in the draft, the Lions aren’t candidates at the moment to take Te’o, but that’s not stopping general manager Martin Mayhew from gushing about Te’o as a not only a leader but as a football player.
“It was great,” Mayhew said, via MLive.com. “Very smart guy. Very smart football player. Very personable. Great personality. That was actually one of the schools I went to. When I was there, you couldn’t find anybody to say anything negative about him.”
Now, while the Lions are currently picking fifth in the draft, they are looking to possibly trade down. If they trade down to the late-teens, then all of a sudden drafting Manti Te’o to plug a hole at linebacker becomes a reality. Not only would the Lions get Te’o in this scenario, they’d also compile some picks to add depth around the roster in later rounds, or trade up to get into the late second or early third to draft more areas of need.
Obviously, the right deal would have to come along for the Lions to trade down but it’s looking like not only are they open to the idea but they have a player in mind that would motivate them to comfortably trade down and not have to feel like they forced a trade.